So, you’ve been watching the news, and you’ve heard that the real estate market is shifting. Now, you’re wondering if you’ve missed the boat on selling your home at the height of this year’s historic sellers’ market. The short answer is, “yes & no.” At the height of 2021 and 2022 real estate markets, a seller could practically sweep their floors, take a few photos, stick them on the MLS and induce a buyer feeding frenzy. Today, increases in mortgage interest rates and inflation have caused buyer demand to begin leveling off, creating a market shift towards, what is hopefully, more stable and sustainable conditions. While the growth in home prices is expected to decelerate over the last half of 2022 and into 2023, prices are still much higher across the nation than they were just three years ago. Selling your property now can certainly still be a profitable endeavor, but the changing market does require a shift in strategy. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you plan to sell in today’s market:
When it Comes to List Price, Strategy is King –
The pricing strategy you choose will play a major role in your success as a home seller, and an experienced real estate agent will discuss a number of scenarios with you to help you choose the one that works best for your situation and goals. Consider the data. Don’t just look at sales prices. Pay close attention to how much nearby properties have sold for in comparison to their list price. Did they sell over, under or right on target? Also, take note of how many days they sat on the market. Did these homes sell quickly at their list price, or did they linger for a while and close below asking? These numbers will give you a concrete reference point to start from when deciding a pricing strategy for your home. Remember to factor in the condition of your home and how it compares to other homes in your market area, as well as the timeframe in which you need to sell. If a seller needs to sell very quickly, they will need to price their home competitively to ensure a quick turn-around. If they aren’t in any particular hurry and want to squeeze every last scent out of the property, then you can price the property closer to the top of the market and wait (a bold strategy for very specific situations). Check out this article: “So, What Should We Sell it For?: A Seller’s Guide to Pricing Strategy”
Presentation Matters –
Let’s be honest, sellers became a bit entitled in recent years. As I mentioned, you could sell just about any house in 2021 with little concern for its appearance. Today, buyers are facing added financial pressures from swift increases in everything from mortgage rates to the price of a gallon of milk. While many buyers are still ready to purchase their first or next home, they are exerting greater discernment and level-headedness than those in previous months. Expect to spend time, money, or both, ensuring that your property is ready to show. Make any necessary repairs that might derail your sale. Trim the hedges, spruce up the flower beds, and give the inside a spit-shine. A little bit of effort goes a long way in showing your property in its best light, and in today’s shifting market, you will want to be sure you put your best foot forward.
Heads Up! Contingencies Still Exist –
The recent housing craze was marked by a sharp increase in waived contingencies. The grapevines, blogs, and newspapers were all abuzz with stories of buyers waiving inspections, appraisals, and paying huge sums over the asking price to win bidding wars. With the craze cooling, and common sense being restored, buyers are remembering that contingencies exist for a reason. While they may not expect to employ all of them in every transaction, it is likely that sellers will soon be facing a few more contingency hurdles than they might have a year ago. Sellers in the coming months should expect to see a return to contingent property inspections, fewer appraisal guarantees and less feverish offer prices.